The Best Day Hike You Can Take With Your Dog In New Mexico

Argentina & Big Bonito Trails
White Mountain Wilderness Area • Ruidoso

The aspens and golden grasses of the high elevations - you’ll reach 9,400 feet on this canine hike - will make Seaman forget the harsh desert in the surrounding lowlands. As you climb, Bonita Creek may even offer pools deep enough for a doggie dip on this seven-mile loop.

Take down this loop in either direction, up the Argentina Canyon Trail or the Little Bonito Trail, but the most important warning to remember is - DO NOT take the Cut Across Trail that links the two routes. Do so and Seaman will miss the wonders of the New Mexico high country. Instead, continue higher to the Crest Trail that is not that much further along anyway.

This will allow Seaman to romp through alpine meadows and deliver vast looks at the desert, including White Sands National Monument far to the southwest. Stop every now and then and look back for any views you may have missed.

Argentina Peak is a small outcropping off the Crest Trail. It will require some off-trail explorations to reach the best views of the Tularosa Basin but if you skip this side excursion Seaman will scarcely be the poorer for the decision.

Human intervention adds bonus interest to one of New Mexico’s finest hikes with your dog. A rail fence in the montane grasslands helps protect the Argentina Spring seeps and a mineshaft near the trailhead will certainly pique Seaman’s interest.

HIKING TIME: 3-4 hours

(from the book 300 Day Hikes To Take With Your Dog Before He Tires You Out: Trails where you won’t be able to wipe the wag off your dog’s tail)


National Parks with Hiking

Bandelier National Monument
Dogs are not allowed on the trails in this park

Capulin Volcan National Monument
Dogs are not allowed on the trails in this park

Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Dogs are not allowed beyond the fence in the cave area

Chaco Culture National Historic Park
Dogs are allowed on all trails save for the short frontcountry trails

El Malpais National Monument
Dogs are alllowed on the trails but the going is often on piles of jagged, paw-slicing lava; conditions are more gentle in the El Calderon Area and the Sandstone Bluffs

El Morro National Monument
Dogs are allowed throughout this park

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument
Dogs are not allowed on the monument trail

Petroglyph National Monument
Dogs are allowed on backcountry trails but not in the
developed area of Boca Negra Canyon

White Sands National Monument
Dogs are allowed on the trails in this park

Hiking With Your Dog in New Mexico